The SETI tests looked at more than 1,300 alien stars for artificial signals, radio waves, and advanced life tests in space. In total, the data dump represents more than one Petabyte (PB) or 10.73.741.824 Megabytes of data collected – the equivalent of streaming music for 1,600 years. The data were collected through a partnership between the University of California, Berkley, and the Green Bank Telescope and the Parkes Telescope. UC Berkeley's so-called Breakthrough Listen initiative has made alien scans available to the public.
Dr. Danny Price, project scientist at Breakthrough Listen for Parkes, said: "This data release is a tremendous milestone for the Breakthrough Listen team.
"We scoured thousands of hours of observations from nearby stars through billions of channels of frequency."
Breakthrough Listen's team scans the night skies for signs of so-called technological designations or evidences of artificially constructed technology.
Any alien species hidden in the vast expanse of the universe could be broadcasting communication signals in a broad way.
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Because of this, scientists are looking for unusual radio frequencies, bright lasers or telltale signs of interstellar propulsion technology.
The initiative is currently listening to over 1,700 nearby stars with the help of the Green Bank Radio Telescope (GBT) in the US and the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia.
However, observations are expected to soon reach more than a million stars, thanks to the MeerKAT telescope in South Africa.
All data collected is now available online through the Listen Breakthrough Open Data File.
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Matt Lebofsky of the Berkeley SETI Research Center (BSRC) said: "While we have released smaller subsets of data in a variety of forms and contexts, we are excited and proud to offer this first cohesive collection along with an instruction manual so that everyone dig and help us search.
"And we're just getting started – there's a lot more to come!"
So the gigantic set of data uncovered any evidence of advanced alien life in the cosmos?
Unfortunately, the results so far have been fruitless, but scientists note that they are essentially looking for a needle in the haystack.
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Dr. Price said, "We found no evidence of artificial signals coming from Earth, but that does not mean there is no intelligent life out there: we may not have just looked in the right place yet, or looked deep enough to detect signs."
Once Listen Breakthrough launches its look over a million stars, scientists will be able to examine the entire galactic plane of 100 nearby galaxies.
An analysis of the data was submitted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.
Breakthrough Listen was released in 2015 by theoretical physicists and technology investor Yuri Milner.